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See also: Bushido - Code of the Samurai Warrior
武士道 is the title for, "The Code of the Samurai."
Sometimes called "The Seven Virtues of the Samurai," "The Bushido Code," or "The Samurai Code of Chivalry."
This would be read in Chinese characters, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja as "The Way of the Warrior," "The Warrior's Way," or "The Warrior's Code."
It's a set of virtues that the Samurai of Japan and ancient warriors of China and Korea had to live and die by. However, while known throughout Asia, this title is mostly used in Japan, and thought of as being of Japanese origin.
The seven commonly-accepted tenets or virtues of Bushido are: Benevolence 仁, Courage 勇, Honesty 誠, Honour 名誉, Loyalty 忠実, Respect 礼(禮), and Rectitude 義. These tenets were part of an oral history for generations, thus, you will see variations in the list Bushido tenets depending on who you talk to.
The Ronin have no master - The most famous are the 47 ronin created after their Lord committed suicide. This term was not exactly a positive title for the Samurai of ancient Japan. However, in recent years, movies and video games have glorified the term Ronin.
In Chinese, this term has the original meaning of a hobo, vagabond or ruffian.
In Korean Hanja, these characters would be read as adventurer, wanderer, someone without a steady job, or someone who is wasting away time.
In modern Japan, this term is used as a nickname for a high school student who has failed a college entry exam (and is trying again).
In Chinese and Korean, the Japanese definition of "Masterless Samurai" is known because of the historical context, even in Japanese, the literal translation is closer to the Chinese and Korean definitions shown above.
This will make a fine wall scroll if you are a fan of the Ronin, or see yourself as a Ronin of sorts. However, please think twice before getting a Ronin tattoo!
In feudal Japan, ninja or shinobi (literally, "one who is concealed" or "one that endures") were sometimes assassins and agents of espionage. The ninja, like samurai, followed their own special code of conduct.
The role of the ninja has been romanticized in many American movies (and to a lesser extent in Japanese movies). Because the ninja-craze has taken off in the west, Japan has followed the trend and you'll see plenty of ninja-related imagery in Japan.
Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese will tend to write the first character in the form shown to the right. If you select our Japanese master calligrapher, please expect that form. Our Chinese calligraphers can also write it in the Japanese form but only if you request it (in the special instructions about your order during checkout).
The first character is the spirit or essence of a warrior. The second character means soldier, officer, or official. 武士 is also used appropriately enough to describe a piece of a chess game. This can also be translated as soldier, cavalier, palace guard, or samurai and sometimes as knight. I've occasionally seen this translated as strong man or tough man (gender not necessarily implied).
By far, this is the most common way to write warrior in Chinese characters, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
Note: In Japanese, this is Bushi, as in Bushido.
In Japanese, this character represents the warriors that attempted to hold peace when there was no Emperor in Japan. Be cautious though, as it is an old way to express "servant" or "waiter" in Chinese and Korean. Of course, if you are a samurai, you are a servant to your Shogun-ate, Lord, or the people (which is the root meaning).
See Also: Warrior
This Japanese proverb simply reads, "[In] Flowers it's Cherry Blossoms, [In] Men it's Warriors."
This is meant to say that of all the flowers in the world, the cherry blossom is the best. And of all men in the world, the Samurai or Warrior is the best
This proverb has been around for a long time. It's believed to have been composed sometime before the Edo Period in Japan (which started in 1603).
Some will drop one syllable and pronounce this, "hana wa sakura hito wa bushi." That's "sakura" instead of "sakuragi," which is like saying "cherry blossom" instead of "cherry tree."
The third character was traditionally written as 櫻. But in modern Japan, that became 桜. You may still see 櫻 used from time to time on older pieces of calligraphy. We can do either one, so just make a special request if you want 櫻.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
This can be read as "Peaceful Warrior" or "Warrior for Peace" in Japanese. This sounds like an oxymoron in Japanese, so it's a weird title. Expect Japanese people to be perplexed when they see it.
平和 (heiwa) peace; harmony.
の (no) possessive particle.
武士 (bushi) warrior; samurai; soldier.
覺醒武士 is not a commonly used title in Chinese but sometimes used in Martial arts and military context to refer to a warrior who seems to always be fully aware, enlightened, knowledgeable, noble, and just.
The first two characters are a word that means: to awaken; to come to realize; awakened to the truth; the truth dawns upon one; scales fall from the eyes; to become aware.
The last two characters mean warrior but can also refer to a samurai, soldier, or fighter.
In the west, when someone mentions "Shogun" we may be filled with thoughts of gallant warriors. Some might even think of the TV mini-series with Richard Chamberlain. Often westerners use the words Samurai and Shogun interchangeably. So I will clear it up really quickly...
Shogun in the simplest definition is a General. You could also use words such as commander, lord, overlord, highest ranking, or commanding officer, since "Shogun" has held some slightly ambiguous meanings at times in Japanese history.
Sometimes a Shogun was a general, other times he was the leader of a military government in Japan.
Variants of the same characters are used in China for the rank and title of a General of the People's Liberation Army (and the same term and characters have been used for the last 2200 years since the Qin Dynasty).
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
The Way of the Samurai
|武士道||bu shi do / bushido||wǔ shì dào|
wu3 shi4 dao4
wu shi dao
|wu shih tao
|戦士||sen shi / senshi|
|武者||mu sha / musha|
|浪人||rou nin / rounin / ro nin / ronin||làng rén / lang4 ren2 / lang ren / langren||lang jen / langjen|
|Ninja||忍者||ninja||rěn zhě / ren3 zhe3 / ren zhe / renzhe||jen che / jenche|
|Warrior||武士||bu shi / bushi||wǔ shì / wu3 shi4 / wu shi / wushi||wu shih / wushih|
|Heart of a Warrior|
|武士心||bu shi kokoro|
|wǔ shì xīn|
wu3 shi4 xin1
wu shi xin
|wu shih hsin
|Samurai||侍||samurai||shì / shi4 / shi||shih|
|In Flowers the Cherry Blossom, In Men the Samurai||花は櫻木人は武士|
|hana wa sakuragi hito wa bushi|
|Peaceful Warrior||平和の武士||hei wa no bu shi|
|jué xǐng wǔ shì|
jue2 xing3 wu3 shi4
jue xing wu shi
|chüeh hsing wu shih
|shougun / shogun||jiāng jūn|
|In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.|
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.
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All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.
When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.
Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!
When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.
The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.
Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.
Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.
The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
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